...Punic War No. 1
...The first Punic War lasted from 264-241 B.C. There are many ways to explain or excuse its beginning; but here I intend to rather expose the folly of two nations. Man is greedy for gain, and man is eager for conquest. Why? I wonder why you ask, the answer is obvious. We are a fallen lot and without the transforming power of the Gospel cannot cease to live for ourselves and look out for our own personal interest. I have sympathies with both sides of the war, Carthage and Rome. So the fact that they both had to fight it out to the death like two spoiled children has always been a canker in my side. Although looking at history I can see God's hand at work.
...Carthage and Rome were the two major powers of the time, and they each envied the others land and position. Carthage was in her decline but still had enough spirit left in her to birth several famous generals. Up and coming Rome felt that Carthage had been eminent past its time and should step down to admit a new mistress of the Mediterranean world. (Namely herself)
...One city in particular seemed to draw more quarrels than the rest. It was called Messana and was located in southern Sicily. The reason it was such a bone of contention between them was because near to Messana were Greek colonies, which as everyone knows were allies with Rome. (you knew that right?) The Greek colonies were supposedly fearful that Carthage who owned Messana might attack them sometime. And I guess it was a possability. So they sent to Rome a cry for help.
...At length war broke out; hostile intentions were declared and the first Punic war begun. Although the Romans had little or no experience with ship building or sailing, they put their best foot forward and built a fleet. With this fleet they won a naval battle, and then promptly lost the whole thing to a storm. No matter, they quickly built another one. This one too emerged victorious from battle, and then was lost in another storm. You would think that at this point the Romans might have got the hint, I mean I would be asking, "Is this a sign or something?". But unfortunately for the Carthaginians the Romans were no overly superstitious and built yet another fleet. (The citizens were obviously planning way above the average replacement plan)
...By this time the Romans were experts at ship building I should think, so it is no wonder they won the war. Carthage angrily admitted defeat, at least for the time being, and surrendured Messana. The Romans demanded and indeminity for the war's expenses, which means that Carthage would pay the Roman's royal sums of money to cover the costs of the war. (I bet the Carthaginians were feeling the costs of "three fleets" then, and wishing the war had not lasted quite so long.) An uneasy peace reigned until the next Punic War errupted.